Google Discontinues Aardvark Amid Social Product Closures

September 3rd, 2011

Google will soon shutter Aardvark, the social search and question-and-answer service it purchased for $50 million early last year.

“As part of the shutdown of GoogleLabs, Aardvark will be shutting down at the end of September,” Aardvark co-founder Max Ventilla writes in a blog post on the site.

Aardvark users have until Sept. 30 to retrieve their data, he adds.

The news follows recent announcements that Google would be killing of social app maker Slideacquired for $182 million — and its associated products, as well as closing down its Labs departments. The spree appears to be motivated by Google+, the company’s single focal point in the realm of social networking for the foreseeable future.

Ventilla acknowledges that Google+ played a significant role in Aardvark’s closure. “We learned a lot about creating and maintaining online communities, and how to facilitate sharing of knowledge between people,” he writes. “We’ve been excited to share these lessons within Google over the past year, especially as part of the effort behind Google+. It has been gratifying to see how well this project is doing — even in these early stages, Google+ has already become a great place to share knowledge online, eclipsing the original!”

Even with Aardvark’s demise, Ventilla suggests that he and the rest of the team will continue on at Google. “In this and other projects at Google, the Aardvark team remains committed to developing powerful tools for connecting people and improving access to information,” he writes.

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